Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

Counselor Education

First Advisor

Kathy Evans

Abstract

African American women have a history of oppression and discrimination. This purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of female African American counselor educators who teach multicultural counseling courses at Traditionally White Institutions (TWIs). Female African American counselors were chosen from various states to share their journey as multicultural counselor educators Guided by Womanist theory, which centers the well-being of African American women through an understanding of their oppression and struggles in their daily experiences; I conducted in depth, phenomenological interviews with the female African American counselor educators who teach multicultural counseling courses at TWIs. The interviews served to answer questions regarding (a) the experience of teaching a multicultural course in a TWI, (b) the impact of race and gender on the experience, (c) the impact on the psychological well-being, (d) the impact on the overall wellness, (e) coping methods and any other ism/oppressions (beautyism, sizism, colorism, ageism) that may affect the experience. These interviews served as data to investigate their teaching experiences as they attempted to maintain their psychological well-being while combating the risks that literature suggests are present for multicultural educators. The data were transcribed and examined for themes through a holistic lens. The themes that emerged from this study were challenge, hypervisibility, challenged authority, lack of identity, hostile environment, spirituality, internal satisfaction and talking, This study gives great consideration to African American women as being a dually oppressed group given the intersection of gender and race. Literature in this study supports the need for counselor education programs to explore these dynamics in an effort to support African American multicultural counselor educators in the profession. The researcher also provides implications for the counselor education program, limitations and considerations for the study as well as the researcher's reflections

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